The Maldives is a diver's paradise. Imagine more than 1,200 islands spread out around 26-atolls, all ringed by coral reefs rich in marine life and underwater adventures. From calm coral gardens within protective barrier reefs to fish-laden pinnacles and adrenaline-pumping drifts along steep walls, there is something for divers of all abilities and interests. Whale sharks feed on plankton carried by life-giving currents, manta rays circle cleaning stations, and schools of fish that patrol the reefs in colorful packs. There's no way to see it all on a single dive vacation but you can enjoy a rich sampling aboard one of these luxury liveaboards that cruise the water. And as a bonus, in addition to mind-blowing diving, these boats also deliver fine dining and spa services equal to a premier beach resort. Here are five liveaboards that deliver the ultimate combination of diving excitement and onboard indulgence.
When this 108-foot boat was launched, it set a new standard for liveaboard diving in the Maldives. The Conte Max introduced the concept of luxury diving by adding an onboard Ayurveda wellness center and a full-time masseuse. With just nine cabins, guests enjoy an intimate atmosphere and a high level of personal attention. Like a number of liveaboards operating in the Maldives, Conte Max is accompanied by a large dive tender known as a dhoni, which features a fully-shaded dive deck and ample room for relaxation. All scuba gear remains aboard the dhoni for the duration of the cruise, and divers merely step aboard to enjoy concierge-level service from the crew. Back aboard the mothership, guests can enjoy a range of massage therapies, detoxification treatments and relaxation programs based on Ayurveda healing traditions. Throughout the year, the Conte Max also offers thematic cruises dedicated to wellness, yoga, meditation and individual treatments.
M/Y Duke of York
Divers who like their space will appreciate this modern 120-foot vessel, which joined the fleet in 2010. With 11 large cabins and four levels, guests enjoy a level of comfort usually associated with land-based resorts. Each cabin is equipped with individual climate control and en-suite bathrooms. Social areas include a large indoor air-conditioned salon with comfortable seating, TV and full entertainment system, while the bar offers a wide choice of soft drinks and spirits. Three decks provide spectacular views with seating that including sun loungers, sun mats and deck chairs. And for the ultimate in relaxation, there is also an onboard spa offering massage services. Nitrox is offered at no additional charge, and the dive staff can provide support for advanced practices such as rebreather diving. The Duke of York's attending dhoni launch is used not only for diving but also snorkeling excursions, fishing trips and cruises to sandbars and desert islands.
Originally located in the Red Sea, the 128-foot liveaboard, the Maldives Master, was given a full makeover in 2015 when it came to the Maldives. It offers a range of seasonal itineraries that include North & South Ari, South Male, Vaavu, North Male and the more remote southern atolls, taking in everything from exhilarating pass dives and submerged pinnacles to sheltered reefs. Accommodation choices include three double suites and large twin-bed cabins, all well-appointed with entertainment systems and spacious en-suite bathrooms. Five lounges provide ample space for relaxation, including a sky bar, sun deck and hot tub. The Maldives Master's 60-foot dhoni dive tender is designed to provide generous space for each diver, and includes dedicated spaces for photographers. Nitrox is available, and the crew can accommodate rebreather divers. The dhoni also has an upper sun deck, which is a favorite place to view the waters while traveling to and from dive sites.
Liveaboard luxury reached new heights when the twin purpose-built yachts of the Scubaspa floating resort went into service. On each of the two identical yachts, a crew of 30 ensures high staff to guest ratio and unparalleled personal service. Four spa therapists, a yoga master, four highly skilled chefs join the experienced dive crew to cater to guest's every need. Four spacious decks offer a gym, Jacuzzi, and deck hosting sunset cocktails, star gazing outdoor dinners and an open-air cinema for evening entertainment. The Asian-style 3,500-square-foot spa is the largest of its kind in the Maldives. Spanning two decks, it includes six treatment rooms, including one for couples’ therapies, a secluded deck for open-air Thai massage or meditation and a shaded spa lounge for relaxation and yoga. Internationally qualified chefs cater to all tastes and dietary requirements with a varied selection of gourmet cuisine and a carefully curated global selection of wines and champagnes. All these indulgences are complemented by daily diving activities on some of the most pristine and colorful reefs in the Indian Ocean. It's a combination that will delight divers and non-divers alike.
Maldives Aggressor II
Fresh from a full renovation in 2017, the Maldives Aggressor II is a 115-foot upscale liveaboard that delivers the high levels of creature comforts and service that have become a hallmark of the Aggressor fleet. Twenty guests are pampered by a crew of ten in air-conditioned accommodations with delicious chef-prepared meals, snacks, soft beverages, local beer and wine and up to four dives daily with night dives offered most nights. The beautifully-appointed salon has ample room for divers to view their photos and videos or to enjoy a movie on the entertainment system. Year-round Itineraries include 7 and 10-night cruises of the Male, Ari, South, Vaavu and Rasdhoo atolls, with spectacular channel-drift dives, wrecks, pinnacles and night dives. Seasonal trips to the southern atolls of Laamu, Addu and the deep south are also offered. Guests can make to 18 dives during the week on the 7-night itinerary and up to 27 dives on a 10-night itinerary.
Ready to treat yourself to the ultimate dive-and-spa vacation. We work with each of these liveaboards and can help you create the perfect itinerary. To learn more, call us at 800-330-6611 or send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.